Steve Benen has perhaps the best example ever:
In a Congress when Republicans’ obstructionist tactics have become scandalous, and a discredited GOP minority has effectively shut down the American policymaking process, Sen. Richard Shelby (R) of Alabama still stands out for his brazenness. Shelby, you’ll recall, placed a blanket hold on several dozen administration nominees, holding them hostage until the senator was paid off in earmarked pork. He eventually backed off, at least in part, though he continues to block Senate votes on three top positions in the Air Force.
CNN’s Dana Bash asked the right-wing senator yesterday whether his actions are justified.
BASH: I spoke with Geoff Morrell over at the Pentagon and just asked him what the impact is of not having these three people in place — one of whom, as you know, is the number two at the Air Force. He said, “Without these people, we’re not firing on all cylinders.” And he also said, “It does adversely affect the organization.”
Are you worried about that? This is a time of war —
SHELBY: The Pentagon is a big place. I don’t think one or two will affect anything except on the margins.
BASH: Do you think that the nominees you have holds on are qualified?
SHELBY: Oh, I don’t have any idea.
Can you imagine if a Democrat had said that when Bush was president?
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